The Africa Union, similar to the European Union, is a union consisting of 54 states of Africa. Morocco is the only state not included in the AU. The AU was established May 26, 2001 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and launched July 9, 2002 in South Africa. The international organization was found as the Organization of African Unity to promote cooperation among the independent nations of Africa.

The African continent has the second largest population in the world at about one billion people. As of 2009, the African population is approximately 14.72% of the world’s population. Well over 1,000 languages are spoken by the people of Africa. The largest religion in Africa is Islam, followed by Christianity. The oldest human remains ever discovered, approximately 200,000 ears old, were found in Ethiopia.

Africa is the second largest continent on Earth, about 11.7 million square miles. Africa is located both above and below the equator and is the only continent to extend from northern temperate climate to southern temperate climate. Africa is the hottest continent on Earth. Africa covers 6% of the earth’s total surface and 20.4% of the earth’s total land area. Sudan is Africa’s largest country, but Cairo is Africa’s largest city.

The world’s largest land animal is the African elephant. The world’s tallest animal, the giraffe, lives in Africa. The cheetah, the world’s fast animal, also lives in Africa. Africa is home to the world’s largest reptile, the Nile crocodile. The world’s largest primate, the gorilla, can be found in the African jungles.

The longest river in the world is the Nile River. The Sahara Desert, about the size of the U.S., is the world’s largest desert. The largest waterfall in Africa is Victoria Falls, 355 feet tall and one mile wide. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, over 19,300 feet. It’s located near the equator but it’s so tall that glaciers can be found at its summit. Madagascar, located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, is the largest island in Africa and the fourth largest island in the world.

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